Hunted Out Site SLQ

Well, that gives it away, doesn’t it?  I pride myself on pulling silver from hunted out sites, in fact, if I have a specialty, that is likely it.  But it is a bit embarrassing to pull such from a site I allegedly hunted out, especially after mountains of blog blather — technique this, grid that and so on.

Ok, there’s the pic, lets see what sort of story writes itself today.  There’s always the morning edit if its absolute garbage.

I don’t have a killer site at present (I have a ton in the “almost close me out, but there might be a few more here” state), and have had no time to research, and the weather is beautiful, so its best to not waste a beautiful day, even if you have no where to go.  Research is for rainy days.  So, when in these situations, I go over my old sites and try to close them out, or at least transcribe my paper logs of the site into Google Earth, or look for areas of the site I may have missed.

Today’s site for that treatment was a 38 silver site I worked pretty hard in late spring of last year.  Its a huge permission site; I worked the best areas day after day, then called it a site, but never really closed out, since there is so much terrain left.  The remaining terrain could be good, but there was no positive evidence that it would be, so I moved on.

Later, I discovered a 100 year old map of the site that showed a house in an area that is now overgrown fields and woods.  Of course, I made a note of it in my site database (tip — if you are a newbie reading this, design a reasonable and easy to use site database, and maintain it meticulously.  It helps, trust me).

Anyway, today’s plan was to hunt the fields and woods near where the house was.  I was a little queasy on permission etiquette — the permission from the power that was, was “yeah, no problem”, and for 6 weeks last year, it was, “yeah, no problem”.  But, do these permissions ever expire?   Its an interesting ethical question after 17 months, but the bottom line is that I didn’t sweat it.  Should I have?

So, onto the site, and I figured this was a good chance at a big fish; an out of the box section of a permission site with an old mansion that was at least 100 years old, likely older.  And, fighting tall grass, woods, vines, poison ivy (tip — if you are a newbie reading this, wear gloves.  Of course, you already knew this; I don’t think clueless newbies could even find this page), and I was surprised at the number of high tone targets.  The competition had not been here, or, if they had been, they were brilliant cherry pickers, cause all I found was wheaties.  Are you kidding me?

Here I am in chest high grass, killer poison ivy, brambles, out the box on a permission site with an old mansion on the old maps, and every high tone is a wheatie.  Give me a pfuc [well nevermind] break.   Eventually I a got a sweet high tone, a 10-48 or some such, and what was it — a massive clad spill.  Are you kidding me?  A 6 coin 70′s clad spill at some random spot in the woods.  Of course, it wasn’t totally random — there were beer cans everywhere, obviously a 70s party site.  Based on the brands of beer represented, it was clear that the partiers had no cultural acumen to know not to throw bad brand beer cans around on a prime metal detecting site (much less drink that swill, which is obviously the larger crime).  Sheesh.  Who educates these people?

8 wheaties, no silvers, and that zone is done.  No big fish.  No little fish.  No minnows.

So, its back to the car, back to work, which has me traversing the area I had gridded out last spring.  I had a bit of time, so I decided I’d run a transect across this hunted out area from the woods to my car. and out pops that SLQ.  Are you kidding me?  From an area that I had marked as hunted out.

I understand when you grid out a site, you might miss a deep, thin dime (and my grids are meticulous), but to miss a Q.  And it was as loud as a heavy metal band; I knew it was a silver Q before I dug it.

Of course, this isn’t a controlled experiment.  Chanel may have been different last spring,  Ground may have been drier,  I know the grass was thicker, costing me an inch last spring; today it was cut like a putting green.  The coin was also somewhat on its side — if perfectly on its side is 90 degrees, this one was at 75-80 degrees.  Maybe it shifted in the past 17 months.  The other factor is that I was using the big unit today, but the stock coil at that time last year.

But, all the pseudo science BS aside, I should have got it last time.  I just didn’t, and that’s that.  BTW, I have done this many times — transected areas and grids during the closing process that I figured I’ve cleaned out, and only once ever found a silver.  I do this to validate my approach — just goes to show that no site is ever hunted out, and those who think they are perfectly meticulous are really just perfectly arrogant about their skill.  I guess I fall in that category, at least on this one.  I do know, however, that the run rate at the sites where I’ve missed ‘em would be so low as to try my patience, so its sort of an opportunity cost and time optimization problem at that point (gotta throw some econ jargon in, don’t we — its what we do — but I personally believe an approach to metal detecting from an economist’s point of view simply leads to more silvers.  JMHO, of course).

Yikes.  Don’t think I’m gonna like this one in the morning, but I don’t think there are too many bad words, so I suppose it will stand, as in the larger zeitgeist of metal detecting, it works, at least for me.  Now I have to go to work.  Bummer.  At least I can gaze at this beauty all shinyied up (forgetting the tarnish and so forth) –

Vacation Silver

Just back from a quick stress reduction vacation to New England.  Worked in a lot of things, including some detecting.  I wasn’t sure I’d be able to, but glad I did as I pulled a few silvers.

First site was a small, out of the way park in Connecticut that I hit on Thursday.  I’ve been there once before; I pulled my 10th career silver there, a rosie, in Oct 2009.   Also pulled a CT colonial copper that day.  I was using a V3 in those days.

Anyway, I started gridding out the area near where I found the rosie, and managed to pull 2 more silvers: a badly tarnished SLQ, and a badly worn merc.

Neither were all that deep.  Target recovery was brutal due to lots of rocks and roots.  It was slow going indeed.  Also, another weird thing about this site was that virtually every high tone target came in with an FE number at or above 19.  What’s up with that?  These are almost always a “bulbous ferrous” (like a bolt), but you have to dig ‘em cause a silver with a nail can read the same way.  These were neither; just normal high tone coins.

The ground didn’t seem all that mineralized, at least from a ferrous point of view.  It may have had a high saline content (based on the condition of that SLQ anyway), and of course salt may affect the readings.  I dunno.   Every high tone except the merc was like that.  Weird.  Of course, every high tone but the merc was also badly corroded or tarnished.  Who knows? There was no clad, and it is still an active park, so I know it is being hunted, but I wonder if other machines are having trouble with these high FE targets.  The V3 did fine here, FWIW.

Anyway, too bad the site is over 4 hours away.  5 to 20 silver site for sure, just sitting there.

The second site was a large downtown park in an old town in Maine.  I could not find aerial photos online for Maine, but I found a 100 year old topo that showed the park, so I figured I was good to go.

I spent about an hour and a half there on Friday. and got a couple of wheaties, no clad, so the place is hunted regularly and hard.  The wheaties were just in one section; there was bupkis everywhere else, and there was no reason to believe that the evil fill and grade twins had been to the dead sections, and there was nothing really special that I noticed at the time about the wheatie section.

I did have a couple of free hours on Saturday, and tho I figured it would be pointless, I decided to go back and grid the weatie section rather than go to an alternate site.

I did keep hitting deep wheaties, about 8 or so, and was getting frustrated about not hitting a silver.  The wheaties were all about 9 or so inches deep (I measured), which was weird — I rarely get small coins deeper than 6 or so inches around here; just shows how variable conditions are around the country, and one reason why some of those New England folks often get killer finds.  (As an aside, at a North Carolina site with red clay, I couldn’t hit coins deeper than 4 inches)

I figured the silver dimes were just not going to be heard at 9 inches, but eventually I got one.  It was at about 7 inches.  I thought it was gonna be a deep clad, cause as I got closer, the signal went from a CO 46 to a CO 44, which often means it is a clad.  It sounded good tho, and I was thrilled to see that shiny edge in the side of the hole.  This silver was hard work. That makes Maine the 11th state in which I’ve found a silver coin.  Woohoo.

Later, I got a beautiful, deep 10-48 kind of signal, figured it had to be a silver Q, but it was a toasted copper on its side.  Bummer.  I did get a date off it: 1855 largie.  There might be a big fish here, but it would take alot of patience to land it.  I doubt I will ever be back to this town, but who knows?

Yesterday’s $91.04 Piece

Pink, of course, figured it out.  The damn thing really is from 1860.  Bummer.  Too bad it ain’t a seated.  Its sort of like finding a 2 cent piece,. except that it isn’t.

My German was a bit off; instead of $91 dollars, the front really says 1/90th of a dollar.  I was close, sort of (I should have been able to figure that out last night; I just didn’t.  Oh well).  It seems they used some sort of Sumerian number system where there were 360 pennies to a dollar, so this thing is 4/360th of a dollar.  Who knew?  Its also from Prussia, not Germany proper, and since I spent a good part of my life living in an oddly named town around here called King of Prussia (which now is a disaster; don’t ever visit, especially since its my second best silver town :) ), I guess I have a cosmic connection to this piece of foreign clad.  Or, maybe not.

Here is one of Pink’s links that describes this thing.  I guess some would think its cool.  Maybe I should be one of them.

So, today’s hunt, while I’m here, produced bupkis.  Back to the recent site, to claim those 1-2 silvers in the graded area, and they just weren’t there.  There ain’t nothing there anymore.  Working grids into dead zones.  Sounds fun.  And it rained on top of that, not enough to make the ground wet, but enough to wonk out my machine, so I called it a day.

I guess I need to close the site, despite covering only about 50% of the area.  I think I’ve played it well, but who knows?  I’m tired of fighting the mineralization, and will at least table the site for now, and look for greener pastures.  I think I may also take a little break from detecting, given everything else that is going on.  Next update will prolly be sometime next week.

No Pfuckin’ Luck

So, with a title like that, and a big silver like this, and a rosie as the best find of the day, the story better be good.  Lets hope so, we’ll see.

So, back to our site of recent entries, and there is this crap zone between sort of the logical zone to work (which I had been working, but finished up this edge), and a tot lot.  I really want to get on the tot lot, cause it is always crawling with kids, meaning the competition hasn’t had much of a go at it (in theory, anyway).

So, working the crap zone, hoping the tykes decide to vacation on Planet Elsewhere for a while (and hoping not to spook out the moms; not really a risk, cause I dress well when I detect, and try to look as decent as possible, in case the locals come chat it up and let me detect their houses — tip to newbies — do this; this has happened to me several times, but not today, or ever, at this site), and, finding, well, crap.  Well whaddya expect?  It is a crap zone after all.

But crap zones can be good.  I usually find good stuff there, but those who have been following the stores of this site know that the mineralization is challenging, and good, deep targets can be a struggle.  Its just a matter of cleaning this zone off the books, while waiting for the kids to go away.  I figure I ain’t gonna find any deep dimes, but I think I may find a deep Q.  Instead, I find a deep walker.  Unbelievable.  Just sort of out of the blue after finding only one wheatie, over 2 hours.  Was about 7 or 8 inches deep.

That would be my 5th silver half dollar of the year.  Way down from last year, but so are all the numbers.  I think that is good, tho, as these things go (well, its good in my world, anyway).  It was just such a shock to see it in the hole at this place; but as this place is 1870s old, I thought it could be a seated when I first saw it; just amazing how the hopeful mind works.

So, on we go, unlike the tykes, who I imagine will retire in that tot lot, and we get another deep, goodie.  This is a deep, high tone, big target,  that has “1860″ printed on it.

Are you pfucking kidding me?  What the pfuck is a pfenninge?  If I dig some deep, big high tone thing that says “1860″ on it, it better pfucking have Lady Liberty having a seat.  Always bridesmaid.  Everything but the supermodel.  Just like that 1818/7 S SLQ that prolly won’t pass muster at the grading agencies.  Always seem to miss it by just that much

Anyway, what the pfuck is this thing?  I’ve had enough high school German to guess that the front says $91 dollars, and the back says 4 cents.  A $91.04 piece.  Not bad,.  Bet no one else reading this has ever found such.  I’m actually hoping the thing is some modern token, and I really didn’t miss a big seated by that much.  Foreign clad.  Gimme a break.  I’ll research the thing sometime when I’m bored, tho I’m sure my German speaking readers will beat me to it :)   (and no offense to anyone with German (or other) heritage; the offense is to this coin’s non-seated heritage :) )

But, there’s more.  There are parts of the site that are graded, and it is unclear whether the grading predates the silver era or not.  There is only one way to find out, and that is to put a coil on it.  And, not long after, pops out a rosie.  Whohoo, the graded zone, which I had written off, is now in play (too bad I’ve had to write off the huge sections that seem hard packed/over mineralized, per last entry).  The rosie opens the zone, making it the best find of the day, cause its not about finding silver, its about finding silver zones and sites.  (The graded zone is too small to produce more than one or two more, so the walker is of course better, but hey, what do you want from bad stream of consciousness writing; this blog is about how I think about finding silver, after all).

So, that’s 5 hunts in a row with at least 1 silver coin, and 19 silvers from this site so far.  We’ll take it.


Well, here’s today’s take from the site of the last couple of days.  As they say, any day with silver is a good day.  In all fairness, I did lose over an hour at lunch for Farewell Farewell Friday, and the place is far from where I Iive (more commuting, less detecting), but it was still a struggle today.  (Too bad the thing is out of focus; autofocus on my camera has been broken for years — I think it is more of a miracle that many of the shots I have put up here have been in focus, but for a single rosie, ain’t worth my time to work it more) –

So, it seems to be all about the dirt thing, as ducktrapper suggested in the comments on the previous entry.  What’s with that?  Generally, in my experience, hard bare dirt with no grass is good (this clause officially approved by the department of redundancy department).  That’s cause all dirt is is decomposed grass, cycled by earthworms, grubs, and so forth.  The cycling of the earthworms, et. al., cause the sinking.  So, if you have no grass, and the dirt is hard (meaning nothing lives in it), things should never sink.  Think about it.  And, that’s been my experience in general; I’ve pulled plenty of 100 year old coins in shady areas with no grass and hard dirt just an 8th of an inch below the surface.  While I am no soil scientist, this common sense approach to why stuff sinks and not has always worked for me, and has always lead me to seek out the hardest, grassless dirt I could find, and has always lead me to silvers.

But, today, and on previous days, it has been a struggle.  Whenever I move from the edge to the middle where the dirt is grassless and hard due to athletic activity, the deep targets have dried up.  Why is this inconsistent with my previous results, and consistent with ducktrapper’s results?  I don’t know; I’m an economist, not a soil scientist.  As an aside, the athletic use patterns at this site have changed since the 30′s aerials.  Not sure if that is useful or not.  All I can say is that the grassy areas continue to have a decent auto rec (20+; less mineralizaion), while the hard, grassless areas have a crappy auto rec (19-; more mineralization).  Why is that?

The rosie was a struggle.  It was in a 19 auto rec zone at 4 inches.  Wasn’t sure it was a silver, and generally, I usually am before I dig.  As a tell on this problem, I dug 15 clad dimes today, when usually, in much longer hunts, I dig much much fewer than that.  That is how hard it was to read this ground.

Why does any of this matter?  Now I get to be an economist.  Its cause if you can read large parts of the site as worthless (loaded with silver, but undetectable due to these reasons), you can write them off, and move on.  That may be what I do with most of the rest of this site. or, I may grid it out, just in the interest of science, but I have not gotten one old coin in any hard, bare zone.  But, the other problem is that the hard, bare middle is, well, in the middle,  Remember the middle is always hunted out before the edges.  Sheesh, what is one to do to optimize?  Who knows?  Is it dead cause it is the hunted out middle, or dead cause of the hard, bad auto rec dirt?

Yikes, what a horrific entry.  I don’t like not having the answers, but at least I think I am asking decent questions for those who wish to optimize.  I think it may come down to tracking silvers by auto rec; I suspect there is an auto rec (and I’m thinking that number is at about 18 or so), where which, if the terrain is giving you that, you won;t find silver, and that may be the way to simplify the problem.  Of course, this simplification doesn’t account for the earlier observations that old coins don’t sink in hard, grassless dirt.  Sheesh.

And people think metal detecting is easy — it beeps, you dig.  I don’t think so.  It actually prolly the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

And, BTW, I wish I had time to comment on the research on that pendant.  I don’t, really, but I think it is cool.  It would be cool to give the thing to someone who thinks it is valuable in a non-monetary sense, but that research seems like a rabbit hole.  I’m due to send off some silver bling to the refinery; I think I’ll hold that one back and think about it.


Back to Monday’s site.  Too bad I could not get out more this week.

Just to recap, this is the site that gave up a cache and a total of 7 silvers in a sort of side zone, nothing but wheaties in the side side zone (the zone I actually thought had the most promise), and nothing ever in the large, main zone until Monday, when I dropped a 4 spot, working the edges.

Its a huge site, and has lots of edge real estate, so I kept at it.  Didn’t expect to find anything, and was figuring to work it today, and do Farewell Farewell tomorrow, and was quite shocked to find 5 silver coins as well as a deep silver pendant.  We’ll take it.

All the dimes were hard. One came in as an 01-30, but when you get a deep, tight signal in a highly mineralized site, you dig.  Too bad it was just a rosie, cause this site is 1870s old.  But all that old stuff is just of range due to the mineralization.  The Q, OTOH, was a slam dunk, tho I did dig my share of deep clad quarters.  Outside the Q, it is a patience and technique site for sure..

I think the pendant is kinda cool, cause I am a runner.  It looks like a medal for winning or participating in a running race.  Its rare that bling is dated, but this one appears dated 1935.  Really cool.

The site is hard to figure, but I suppose as long as the big multi days are flying out of the ground, why over think it?  My plan was just to work it a bit today, find nothing, then do Farewell Farewell tomorrow after finding nothing.  Now, I see blood in the water, and don’t know how long I will be here.  Its weird, tho, all the silvers in this zone have been in green grass where I have gotten a decent auto rec.  Nothing in the grassless areas (and those areas are grassless due to athletic activity, not lack of moisture).  So, what’s with that? Correlation, of course, is not causality, but there must be something up with that.  Lets hope not, cause there is very little verdant grassy area left.

In any case, since it is now a 14 silver site (actually 16), I’ll still do the local lunch thing tomorrow on Farewell Farewell Friday (haven’t done this in forever, cause a) I’m trying to lose weight, and b), haven’t had a 14+ site in forever (except last weekend, but that was a weekend and I closed the site).

Bottom line, this section of the site is really hard to read.  Could be pretty much done, or could still be a 25 to 50 silver site.  I think we top out below 20, but, as always, we’ll see.

Another 4 Spot

Not bad, not bad at all.

Back to that park where I found that cache on 9/13.  Wanted to see if wet dirt made a difference in the “main” zone, where I had yet to score a silver.

I expanded the grid I had been working, and it did not seem to make a difference; at least I didn’t find any silver.  Of course, this test isn’t scientific unless you use the exact same target, but I was hoping it would have, as the site is huge, and I wanted to open it up.

Moved to a different section, and did much better, finding 3 rosies rather quickly.  Then in that edge section right by the road where all the trash is, found the Q.  First Q I’ve found at this site.  To any newbies, always work that yucky edge trash zone right by the road.  Good stuff can lurk there.

I don’t know that the damp ground helped.  What helped was better dirt, I think.  There was a correlation between a good auto rec (20-24) in the zone with the rosies, and crap one (13-16) in the silverless areas.  I imagine that pretty much tells the story,  Unfortunately, most of the park is the latter, from what I’ve seen in my scans.  Too bad, cause its huge.  Bet there are 50 unreachable silvers here.  I’ve got 11 so far.

Oh, and this marks career silver #1200 (1201 actually). Who hoo, another milestone.  Of course, I know a guy with over 40,000 …

Here we are all shinyed up, tho that Q is a bit beat –

Nice Hunt Today

So, lets just lead with a pic of today’s 4 spot.

So, today was my first real hunt since last entry.  I did have one other hunt in the meantime; spied an awesome site, went there, and could not get permission to get on the land.  Its a 50 silver site at least, IMHO (and with hard permission, maybe more, tho obviously, many are sneaking on).  Too bad.  Backup site on the day was a 74 silver site that I worked pretty well a couple of years ago (my 3rd best, and a very special site), but the zones I still had to clean up weren’t giving it up.  I should have cleaned them up at the time, but I wasn’t as organized in those days, and was much more clueless.  Its amazing how your approach to site management evolves.  I’m sure the competition has gotten those shinys that I should have gotten in the meantime.  Kudos to them.  My bad..

Maybe I should talk about today’s hunt.  Not much to say,   Site of the 9/22 and 9/29 entries, and my first time there was a year or two before that (I totally misjudged and misplayed this site, but all’s well that ends well).  Just closing out 2 small zones, and I got 4 more silvers.  2 hours hunting time.  Unbelievable.  Dug 11 coins total; 4 silvers, 3 wheates, and 4 clads.  Definitely helps those ratios, doesn’t it?  So, I’ve detected this site 4 times — 4 silvers, 5 silvers, 2 silvers, 4 silvers.  Are you kidding me?  And its now closed.  Too bad.  15 silver site, and my 17th best.  Best run rate/density site I’ve ever done at any site, tho.  Usually when a site gets to 14, it gets to 21, and from there it flies to honeyhole level.  Too bad this site is so small and is done.  Usually small sites are cleaned out by the time I get there; fortunately not this one.  Well, now its cleaned out.  I’d give it up, but you never know when a better machine will come along to allow me to reopen my closed sites.

So, lets write some more.  I haven’t been able to detect lately due to volunteering my time to a local search and rescue team.  Detecting is rarely involved (tho I did go on one task looking for bullets for the team, and I did learn about the team via a detecting project), but it is something I want to volunteer for.  Its more important to me to find lost people than lost silver, (tho the latter is always on my mind).  SAR takes alot of time, especially in the early stages, when you are clueless and are trying to learn.  Translation: more SAR volunteering, less detecting (and therefore, less detecting blogging).  See the problem with taking on sponsors?  They are gonna want a certain post run rate, certain follow run rate, and all that other BS, and if I don’t post for a month, half the followers drift away; and I’m not interested in that experience.

Finally, had some heavy rain recently.  May allow me to test my theory at the cache site from entries of a month ago, to see if rain helps find the silver there.  We’ll see.

And, here is today’s silver all shinied up.  Have to do this for the script that does the gallery –

More Abandoned House Silver

Back to yesterday’s site (who wouldn’t?) to finish it off, and had a nice day, pulling a barber Q, a pair of mercs, 9 wheaties, and another toasted Indian.

The barber Q was hard, and I almost didn’t dig it.  First of all, I was running on channel 7 (and despite having found nearly 1200 silvers, I have never ever found one on channel 7 (I think its a crap channel for silver), but for some reason, there was brutal EMI here today, and channel 7 was by far the quietest for some reason, and it did hit a reasonably deep wheatie).

When I hit the Q, it seemed like an iron false, a deep, iffy high tone with an FE # in the 20s, and when you pinpoint, its wasn’t a tight pinpoint, but a long, linear, pinpoint, the signature of a false off the end of a deep nail.  But, when carefully going over the area in pinpoint mode, there was a slight drop in signal strength between the putative ferrous iron object and the putative Q, and that is the tell to dig, and there it was.  We’ll take it.

I’ve seen this before, and I think the takeaway tip is this — when you can’t tell between an iron false and a deep silver next to iron, go as slow as molasses over it, and listen for a subtle signal drop between the nail and its putative end.  If you get that, dig, otherwise move on.

The merc’s were both slam dunks.  We’ll take them too.  So, that’s that — opened the site yesterday, and closed it today.  Farewell farewell.  I prefer sites that take 2 months to work, not 2 days, but we’ll take it.  5 silvers from an abandoned home, 4 indians, and a possible extremely rare coin (we’ll see at some point).  Not bad, not bad at all.  But, it leaves us wondering what our next trick will be.  I guess we’ll see.

BTW, that barber Q is my 10th career, and 2nd of the year.  They are hard to find, but this is a nice one, full liberty and beautiful, shiny features.  Stunning when it came out of the dirt.  Too bad the pic doesn’t do it justice –